Did Candidates Flee to Vacation Homes? 5 Highlights From the Mayor’s Race

One of the main unanswered questions in this year’s mayoral race is how the introduction of ranked-choice voting will change the nature of the election.

The first taste of how things will change came on Sunday, with an endorsement of two candidates, in ranked order.

Other questions were also addressed last week, including how much time candidates spent outside of New York City during the pandemic, and how they view the long-term job prospects of the current police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea. (Hint: Count on a job opening in January.)

Here are some key developments in the race:

For months, New York mayoral campaigns, political strategists and officials have quietly grappled with one of the biggest uncertainties in the race: how to approach the new ranked-choice voting system in the June Democratic primary, for which New Yorkers will be asked to rank as many as five choices. Can a candidate draw contrasts without alienating a rival’s supporters? Are alliances in order? Do voters even understand the process?

One candidate who did not throw any shade at Mr. Yang was Raymond J. McGuire, a wealthy former Wall Street executive who, with his wife, owns a second home in the Hamptons. Speculation rose that Mr. McGuire’s campaign was silent because perhaps he had spent much of the pandemic outside of the city as well.

After reviewing his calendar, Mr. McGuire’s campaign said that he spent the first three months of the pandemic in Manhattan, and then a total of three weeks in the Hamptons with his family from June to August.

His campaign staff shared a schedule that indicated that Mr. McGuire worked and took meetings in both Manhattan and the Hamptons during the summer; The Times confirmed that several of those meetings — with future staff members and an influential Black activist, Kirsten John Foy — did take place.

“It’s pretty clear from the exhaustive and transparent accounting of Ray’s whereabouts that he was not living in the Hamptons during Covid,” said Mr. McGuire’s spokeswoman Lupé Todd-Medina.

The Times asked other candidates about their whereabouts from March to September. Ms. Wiley’s campaign said she spent 10 days outside of the city on Long Island in July, while Mr. Stringer said he spent three days in Connecticut with his wife’s family in August.

Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, said he did not spend a full 24 hours outside of the city during that period. Mr. Adams, who slept at Brooklyn Borough Hall during the height of the pandemic, said he would spend eight to 12 hours visiting with his partner and family in New Jersey.

Carlos Menchaca, a councilman from Brooklyn, said he spent a total of 14 days outside the city, mostly hiking and meditating but still working remotely. Ms. Morales said she spent two days in upstate New York in July, and one of those days was with her campaign team.

Shaun Donovan, the former federal housing secretary, spent two weeks with his family in Washington, D.C., as they were in the process of moving to join him in Brooklyn, according to his campaign. Zach Iscol said he spent a total of 50 days outside of New York with his family in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in between working as deputy director at the Covid-19 field hospital at the Jacob Javits Center.

If there is one candidate in the crowded mayoral field who is most likely to be impersonated on “Saturday Night Live,” it is probably Paperboy Prince, a rapper from Brooklyn.

At an online mayoral forum last week, Paperboy performed a rap in support of universal basic income, took two actual pies to the face and expressed concern about waking up a roommate.

What seems clear is that Commissioner Shea does not have the support of most of the mayoral candidates. Ms. Wiley, a former counsel to Mr. de Blasio, even called on the mayor to fire him.

Several candidates have talked recently about what they want to see in the next police commissioner. Mr. Yang said he wants to hire a “civilian police commissioner” who was not a police officer and who is “independent from the culture of the Police Department.”

Mr. Adams, a former police officer, said he would hire a female police commissioner.

At the Brooklyn mayoral forum, Ms. Wiley and Mr. Stringer, the city comptroller, would not commit to hiring a person of color as police commissioner, but pledged that their administrations would be diverse. Mr. de Blasio picked three Irish-American leaders, and the Police Department has not had a Black commissioner since Lee P. Brown resigned in 1992.

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